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a pic I took of a "wedding cake topper at Wal-mart

“I’ll MAKE Him Love Me!”


They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

My children and I saw these wedding cake toppers at Wal-Mart.  They were labelled “humorous wedding cake toppers.”

I don’t know if you can see it – but – on the second one, the grooms fingers are actually digging into the ground.  He is SO opposed to going the direction his bride is dragging him.

I know that these little statues are supposed to be “funny.”

To me, they aren’t funny at all.  These depictions make me so sad.  This was me – for 14+ years in our marriage.  This was what I was trying to do emotionally and spiritually to my husband. It did NOT work!

God’s primary purpose in designing marriage was to create a living parable, a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.  The husband is to represent the selfless, powerful, humble, sacrificial agape love of Christ.  The wife is to represent the adoration, reverence and submission of the church to her Lord by respecting her husband and honoring his God-given leadership. (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 3, I Peter 3, Titus 2:2-5)

These  little figures accurately depict some destructive dynamics at work in many marriages in our culture today.  This is NOT a picture of the one Spirit relationship between Christ and His church.

I think these cake toppers are a great visual for us as wives to remember.  When we try to control our husbands, this is how they feel.  It’s not a very romantic picture, is it?

  • If you were in this guy’s shoes – what would you want to do?

Run far, far away…

It is IMPOSSIBLE for anything romantic to happen when a wife has her hands emotionally around her husband’s throat.

Romance only happens when a man is free to give of himself as he sees fit.  As women, we must decide between trying to control our husbands and having intimacy (Laura Doyle “The Surrendered Wife”).  They are exclusive opposites.  If we have one, we can’t have the other.

Each spouse has to be a willing participant – and not feel forced or coerced – if there is to be real intimacy.


We as wives ALL deeply long to be loved, romanced, cherished, adored, honored, appreciated, protected and well-cared for by our husbands.

Let’s imagine that one of these little wedding cake toppers is me and my husband.  I am trying to force Greg to do what I want, to submit to my will, to do things MY way.  I think that I am so right and my way is the only way that is acceptable.  This is me verbally trying to drag my husband to be the man I think he should be.  This is me trying to change my husband.

Try to picture if – in the middle of this scenario, with me dragging my husband like this and him miserably feeling trapped and imprisoned – if he would EVER suddenly do one of the following things:

  • turn to me and tell me all the things he loves about me
  • hand me a bouquet of beautiful flowers “just because”
  • tell me how much he missed me when I was at work that day
  • sneak up behind me and hug me at the sink
  • suggest a romantic walk
  • say, “You know, we need to talk, Honey.  I just want to tell you that you are SO right about everything.  I have totally been a jerk and I want to do everything exactly the way you have been demanding that I should.  I have dreamt of this day all my life.  I now know that I am doing what God has called me to do in this life.”
  • say, “Your happiness means the world to me.”
  • take care of the laundry just to take some weight off of me
  • surprise me with a romantic vacation for two
  • give me any kind of compliment
  • desire to sit and listen to my heart for hours
  • protect me from extended family members’ verbal attacks and insults

A controlling woman repels her man.  With her own hands, attitudes and words, she destroys the relationship (whether she knows it or not).  She demands everything and her husband reluctantly gives her as little of himself as possible, sealing his heart shut tight so that she cannot have it.

A woman who allows her man to lead and who honors and respects him will draw him to herself very subtly.  She inspires him to desire her.  She demands nothing – and yet he willingly gives her everything, including his whole heart.


The even scarier thing to me now – is  – that this wedding topper portrays how I was trying to treat God, too.   Drag Him around.  Tell Him what to do.  Make Him submit to me…

We’ll talk about that some more tomorrow…



No one in the world – humanly speaking – has as much influence and power to bless or destroy a man as his wife has.

Many women have no idea where their power is or how to harness it for good.

Some of us try to change our husbands by verbal force. I did that for over 14 years. But the truth is – we can’t change them. That’s actually a good thing. When someone tries to change a healthy man – he will resist. A man who is wiling to be controlled by his wife is not emotionally/spiritually healthy.

God did not give us power to change our men. He gave us something INFINITELY BETTER.

He gave us the power to inspire our men to want to be all that God designed them to be. 

We don’t do that by demanding, criticizing, humiliating, complaining, nagging, preaching, ridiculing, ordering or coercing our men by verbal attacks and insults. These things destroy and crush our men’s souls. Men are very sensitive to our disrespect. Even just a look of contempt or disdain or a hateful tone of voice can crush our husbands’ spirits.

Rick Johnson in “How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk” – says “like any great power, you have to learn how to use it properly and respect the damage it can cause. As a woman you can build a man up or tear him down merely by the level of respect you give to him and the amount of faith you have in him. Your tongue wields greater power than any double-edged sword… It takes much more work and effort to build something than it does to destroy it… That’s a big responsibilty and a power that many women do not recognize…. There’s not much a man can’t deal with in life if he knows he can come home to a loving, supportive wife who respects him.”

Many women think that if we respect our husbands and honor their leadership that we lose our voice and power as women. But that is not how God’s design works at all!

The only power we lose is the power of our sinful nature to destroy. When we are living in total submission to Christ and full of His Spirit, we have the power and riches of heaven blasting through our souls and pouring through us to bless our husbands and children. There is no greater power in the universe than the omnipotent, sovereign, mighty power of God!

A minister at my church who is teaching a class on spiritual authority says that Satan’s definition of “freedom” is the ability to do whatever we want. He says that God’s definition of “freedom” is having the power to do what God desires us to do.

God gives us the freedom, desire and power to inspire our husbands to become the heroes God designed them to be as we become more and more the wives and women God designed us to be.



A Wife Stops Pursuing Her Husband in the Wrong Ways

Giving up on My Dream for My Marriage

My Demon

Treat Him Like a Man

Soul Mates

Supporting My Husband’s Leadership

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Don’t Often Notice

I Really Missed You

26 thoughts on ““I’ll MAKE Him Love Me!”

  1. I saw the second cake topper in Walmart a couple years ago and I also took a picture of it thinking I’d use it in a marriage talk or blog (I haven’t yet :)). I agree it is so sad!!!!

    1. Merrie Beth,

      That is so funny that you did the same thing! The contrast in what those toppers depict from God’s design is just unbelievably stark, isn’t it?

      Great to hear from you, my beautiful sister! 🙂

  2. Hi April! Thank you for you blog! It’s such a blessing!

    One thing that I’ve learned since beginning this journey of submission to God and to my husband is my tendency to “leap before I look” and control instead of waiting on God and waiting on my husband. For example, we meet new people and instead of waiting for my husband to introduce us to them, I jump in and say “Hi, I’m Lisa and this is my husband…”

    Another thing that I’ve realized is that almost all of our dates and times of “togetherness” have been initiated by me- my idea, my timing, my doing all the prep to make it happen, etc. So, I’m not doing that now. It hasn’t gone like I’d hoped (i.e. he’s missing it so now he’s doing it) but I’m learning to wait on the Lord and His timing even in this time of barrenness. I’ve realized how much I’ve been doing and how terribly one-sided our relationship has really been. I’m sad, but know that at least what’s happening right now is honest and I’m trying to walk in His Truth and His ways.
    Blessings to you!

    1. Lisa,

      I’m so glad to hear from you!

      Some husbands appreciate their wives making plans for dates – so, that is not necessarily a bad thing. 🙂 It can take some time to figure out what to initiate and what to wait on. But I am glad your husband is taking initiative. 🙂

      Praying for you about your desire for a child. And I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you!!!!

      Please let me know how you are doing! 🙂

  3. Thank you for your really thoughtful blog post. I’m afraid I’ve been that “controlling” person. I think the key here is “healthy man” – the man I’ve tried to love well and seem to have failed – has a pornography addiction. I knew about it when we married almost 14 years ago and believed him when he said he would “take care of it”. We didn’t really speak about it again – because I believed him. Fast forward 14 years – through lost jobs, bounced checks, 3 virus (and pornography laden) computer hard drives, online “connections” with old girlfriends – and yet this is all “my fault”. After 9 years or so of stagnation – I’m working on growing, getting healthier and I’m hearing lots of victim language and when I try to bring things into focus, to understand and process. I’m angrily told to “let it go”. It’s difficult to realize that the person you thought you loved and loved you – is only sort of a public persona and that there is a whole other side that pursues unthinkable and unhealthy things. And if he his unwilling to invest in himself to heal – well, then I’m afraid our relationship, our marriage and family won’t heal either.
    Appreciate prayers and healing thoughts as we struggle through this journey. I know God can raise the dead and work miracles, but I think people also need to be ready to accept the miracles and that sadly my husband isn’t in that place with his journey.

    1. Emily,

      A pornography addiction can get pretty extreme at times. And, as I’m sure you know, can work just like an illicit drug addiction – altering the brain’s chemistry and even permanently altering the neuron pathways that govern how a man thinks about women and sex. It is one of the most difficult addictions to deal with.

      Usually, a man with this severe of an addiction will need a godly man accountability partner or a man who is very well trained to deal with this kind of addiction as well as computer software and regular meetings with his counselor/mentor for support.

      Here is a free ebook about dealing with pornography from a Christian pastor/blogger Brent Riggs

      When you try to confront an addict, you will definitely get anger. This is a form of idolatry. You may need to involve a trusted pastor or Christian counselor.

      God is able to heal people and marriages, even with this kind of issue. But it can be extremely painful and difficult and a long road.

      Praying for you!!!!!

      1. Thanks so much. Appreciate the resource. I volunteer for Partners for Purity which is a site that helps women dealing with the impacts of such addictions.
        I’m afraid my husband isn’t particularly interested in making lasting changes. He supposedly goes to a specific 12-Step Group for this type of addiction, but refuses to share any of his “work” because the group is confidential.
        I’m in counseling and suggested he get back to his counselor – but he says his work hours keep him from going. I’m afraid he just isn’t that interested in healing himself or the marriage.
        As I hold the line and say “No more” or indicate that trust needs to be rebuilt – he tells me to “just let it go” (Like the old girl friend that he friended on Facebook after we had an agreement to not friend people of the opposite sex.)
        He doesn’t seem to be able to attract and keep Godly men to advise him in his life. Which makes me very sad. When I shared this thought with a childhood friend of mine who is a Godly man – friend said “If your husband is really interested in having Godly men in his life – they will be there, but he has to make an effort at being a friend too.”
        It’s a very sad situation. I look forward to reading Brent Riggs e-book.
        And I look forward to following your blog. I’m sad and scared but I know God is also working to do great things and so I have to be patient and trust. Thanks too for prayers.

        1. Emily,

          You definitely can’t change your husband, as you well know, no doubt.

          But I am so thankful that God can convict him and change his heart. This kind of pain is so very difficult for a wife. I’m glad to support you, pray for you, encourage you and listen any time! 🙂

          We lift up Emily and her husband to Your throne room from which You reign in sovereignty over the universe. We pray that You might tear down every stronghold of the enemy and every fortress of sin in this marriage. We pray for Your heavenly weapons to be deployed against the one who would desire to steal, kill and destroy in this family. We pray for You to bring all the resources that this couple needs to light. We pray for godly mentors and friends. We pray for Your Spirit to convict this precious husband of every sin, that he might repent in godly sorrow that leads to life. We pray for Emily to draw closer to You than ever and that You would work in her heart to empower her to become more and more the godly woman and wife that You desire her to be. We pray that You will give her wisdom and the power of Your Spirit to respond in Your truth and love. We pray for reconciliation for Emily’s husband to You. We pray for You to show Emily anything that is hindering Your Spirit’s work in her life that she may be full of Your power. Protect this family from the attacks of the enemy. Set up prayer warriors around this family to cover them in prayer. Accomplish Your will here and let Your Name be greatly glorified. We know that nothing is too difficult for You. Help Emily to trust in Your sovereignty and to be able to rest peacefully in Your love and to find shelter under Your wings.

          In the Name and power of Christ,

  4. I can only think of what the feminists out there would think if it was a man dragging a woman into a marriage. You can sure bet your last dollar that the gnashing of teeth would be so loud you could hear it from the other side of the universe. When it comes to men though, they are silent. Got to love those double standards.

    1. Joseph,
      I actually thought about that. I cannot fathom a wedding cake topper where a man was dragging the bride like that being something that would be sold in a store. Of course, that wouldn’t be a godly design, either.

    2. OK, just had another thought. Why is this image perfectly acceptable, yet the reverse would be repugnant? And feminist boast ‘equality’ – some how it doesn’t seem equal. Are we that blinded that we cannot see that ‘equality’ at the cost of someone else isn’t really ‘equal’ at all. (sorry for the lil rant there April)

    3. For what it’s worth, I’m a feminist, and I think that these wedding-cake toppers aren’t funny, either. They reinforce an image of women as bossy and domineering, play into harmful tropes about relationships between the sexes and suggest that a lack of consent between partners is okay. I’m fairly sure most feminists would agree with me.

  5. This post is especially touching and convicting as I reflect today on 2 years of marriage. Thank you my dear sister for continuing your ministry, and please encourage your husband to know that his willingness to allow you to do so is helping so many young (and mature) couples. Even when I’m silent about my struggle, I know where to look for help. And every time I come to the Peaceful Wife, she points me right back to Jesus. God Bless you. Please pray for me and my husband Nick today, if you would. Its our 2 yrs anniversary….its been such a blessing, but an enormous challenge as well. I feel God urging me to walk in faith with Him and revealing the damage my controlling and idolatry has done to my marriage and my husband. So grateful for grace and mercy though as I’m privileged to wake up to my husband each day.

    1. Crystal,

      Happy Anniversary to you and to Nick! You have been through so much. I am thankful that you are together. I know it has been a very difficult road. Praying for God to work in both of you for His greatest glory my precious friend! 🙂

      I pray that Christ and Christ alone might be exalted here.

      Thank you for the encouragement and the update. I always love to hear from you! 🙂

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